Con­sent money-grab­bing

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion/news -

I read in the Chron­i­cle that the Mata­mataPi­ako District Coun­cil has ap­plied to the Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil for re­source con­sent to draw wa­ter from the Waiteariki Stream for mu­nic­i­pal sup­ply pur­poses.

This to sup­ply wa­ter to Mata­mata town­ship, pop­u­la­tion ap­prox­i­mately 6500. As Mata­mata has been draw­ing wa­ter from this stream since be­fore 1920 and the last con­sent ap­pli­ca­tion was in 1989 it would ap­pear to be just a money-grab­bing ex­er­cise.

As the cost to the ratepayer is al­ready up to $130,000 be­fore any hear­ing which is ex­pected to cost in the vicin­ity of a fur­ther $20,000 is it any won­der our rates are high. As it would ap­pear to be just a high priced for­mal­ity, what a com­plete waste of money and a per­fect ex­am­ple of bu­reau­cracy gone mad. dairy, in gen­eral re­quire more re­sources and cause higher emis­sions than plant­based al­ter­na­tives.’’ With­out meat, a car­bon tax is like a to­bacco tax that ex­empts cig­a­rettes.

The Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment has stated that 31 per cent of New Zealand’s emis­sions, by far the largest slice, come from en­teric fer­men­ta­tions (sheep and cat­tle burp­ing and fart­ing). Add in land clear­ing, trans­porta­tion, slaugh­ter and re­frig­er­a­tion and meat is a green­house disas­ter. Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Chicago have found that switch­ing from a meat-based diet to a ve­gan one is more ef­fec­tive in the fight against cli­mate change than switch­ing from a stan­dard car to a hy­brid. A Ger­man study con­firmed that a meat-eater’s diet is re­spon­si­ble for seven times more green­house gas emis­sions than a ve­gan’s diet. By im­ple­ment­ing a ‘‘burp and fart tax’’ on meat, the gov­ern­ment will give peo­ple an in­cen­tive to re­duce their meat con­sump­tion, which will not only re­duce green­house gas emis­sions, it will re­duce coro­nary heart disease, di­a­betes, col­orec­tal cancer and other dis­eases. This, in turn, will help re­duce na­tional health care costs.

Tax­ing meat is one of the most pow­er­ful things the gov­ern­ment can do to com­bat cli­mate change and make the world a health­ier place.

Des­mond Bel­lamy

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